Sources: Sacramento Republic files complaint over alleged Orlando City spy – ESPN

Sources: Sacramento Republic files complaint over alleged Orlando City spy - ESPN

Sacramento Republic has filed a complaint with the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging an Orlando City SC official spied on its training session ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup final, multiple sources told ESPN.

ESPN television analyst Taylor Twellman was the report first the news about the employee’s presence at Sacramento’s practice, and that the United States Soccer Federation, which runs the tournament, is aware of the situation.

A spokesperson for the USSF added that the Federation is “looking into it”, and confirmed that a USSF film crew has footage of the incident.

Orlando said in a statement that “the Club was aware of the Sacramento training session issue and is cooperating with U.S. Soccer.”

The Orlando staffer, who sources told ESPN was recognized by Republic crew chief as having a relationship with Orlando manager Oscar Pareja, was asked to leave several times over a 30-45 minute period. The employee insisted he was there to meet a friend who was training on a nearby field. Republic staff even went so far as to park two vans in front of the individual to obscure his view of training, only to have him move to another location before finally leaving.

An Orlando club source confirmed the presence of the staff but said there was “no concerted effort” to have the individual observe training and that the staff did not report with any information.

The incident happened Monday at Central Winds Park, a public park in suburban Winter Springs, Fla. In order to achieve some privacy, the Republic chose not to practice at Orlando’s training camp, but later had difficulty securing another place to train. and was thus forced to train at the park.

Even if the presence of the Orlando staffer and his motivation to participate in the Sacramento training session are confirmed, it is unclear what sanctions the USSF may impose. The USSF’s Open Cup Open Division Handbook does not strictly prohibit what happened on Monday, but there is an Adjudication and Discipline Panel that handles protests and general discipline.

Section 306 of the manual states: “Anyone may lodge a complaint with the Panel about an act or omission of an Open Cup team, individual or group or organization participating in the Open Cup competition. The Panel will determine whether the conduct complained of is. or would have been contrary to the good of the game. The Panel shall take such action as it deems appropriate with respect to anyone involved in the complaint, as provided by subsection (c) of this section.”

The handbook adds: “Other than overturning match results or requiring a replay of a match, the Panel may take any action it deems appropriate, including suspension or fine, or both, for any matter considered by it under this policy. The Panel may only do. consider requiring a replay of a game or promoting a losing team if a protest has been lodged. The Panel may exercise discretion in cases where a team lodges a protest with the Commissioner after the deadline has expired in the event that circumstances regarding the availability of information after the deadline guarantees this discretion.”

The two teams are each aiming for their first USOC crown, with Sacramento, which plays in the second-tier USL Championship, aiming to become the first non-MLS team to win the trophy since 1999, when the Rochester Rhinos, then of the A .-league, claimed the title over the Colorado Rapids.

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